The past couple of days have been odd ones to say the least.
I feel like I’m having some sort of out of body experience. I am used to covering “Dancing With the Stars,” not actually being the one in the story. I am so beyond disappointed that I won’t be able to continue on the show. Tony Dovolani, my dance partner, and I have been working our you-know-whats off for the past month.
So, even though I am definitely putting the situation into perspective, I cannot deny I am completely bummed out. When you have been practicing non-stop (we averaged 5-6 hours a day for almost four weeks straight), it is tough to throw all that hard work out the window. As many of you have read by now, I tore my meniscus in my knee in two places, and I have to have surgery to fix it.
I have been an athlete all my life, so there was a huge part of me that wanted to continue on. But the doctors also told me that by dancing on a torn meniscus I could risk further injury and permanent, long-term effects. Hearing that, well…yes… I was done for this season, no question.
So many people have written stories saying maybe “Dancing” needs to rethink its training regime. I don’t want the show to get criticism. I feel I went into dancing in the best condition that I have ever been in because I had been running 40 minutes a day for 5 days a week. And even though I get to dress up in fancy dresses on Access, I am more of a tomboy in real life. I have been athletic all of my life, so I don’t feel the show’s training regiment had anything to do with my injury. It just all played out in an unfortunate matter of circumstances in a particular backwards and twisted step I took.
I feel horrible I cannot continue for my dance partner, Tony. He has been an amazing teacher. He promised he will still teach my little girl to dance as she loves to dance and I know she would have liked to see her mama dancing. I am also bummed out because the “Dancing with the Stars” cameras were going to follow me to a Muscular Dystrophy Association event coming up which I am hosting. MDA has a whole ALS division and the charity was there for me every step of the way during my mom’s illness, till when she passed away this past June from ALS. “Dancing with the Stars” has millions upon millions of viewers, so I feel badly that all those viewers won’t get to see what an amazing charity MDA is. That, I am extremely sad about.
On the positive side, although short, it was a great experience. I challenged myself to take a risk at doing something I have never done before. I now know the waltz and some salsa and I have a new friend in Tony and all the wonderful people on the amazing production that “Dancing with the Stars” is. “DWTS” has always been one of my favorite shows. In this day and age when reality shows are so popular, it is at the top of the game and constantly remains a classy reality show. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join the cast next season!